Don’t sleep on the Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference with 13-9 record.

Duncan has had a lot of help lately, if and when Manu returns healthy, there aren't many teams that would want to face the Spurs come playoff time.

Not bad, when you consider the fact that they are playing the most part of the season without Manu Ginobili and backup point guard T.J. Ford.

Let’s face it, the Spurs are not the only NBA team suffering from injuries, but Ginobili is big part of what they do on both ends on the floor and I’m inclined to believe that many naysayers have written off the Spurs early when Manu went down with an injury, perhaps expecting doom and gloom in San Antonio.

But guess what?

After 22 regular season games that Spurs are very much in the playoff hunt and are four games above .500 playing without one of their best players — credit should go to the Spurs reserves for that.

However, the Spurs are staring at a 3-game home stand against the Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets and the Oklahoma City Thunder before playing nine games on the road (where they have a woeful 3-8 record) for the annual Rodeo Road Trip.

Nonetheless, should Tim Duncan and company manage to tread water without Ginobili then it wouldn’t be too surprising to see San Antonio going deep into this years playoffs.

Here’s what some ESPN bloggers/analyst think about the Spurs chances this season.

Royce Young, Daily Thunder: It kind of feels like the Spurs are intentionally hovering around .500. Like they’re just trying to do just enough to stay in the race while also conserving themselves for a big push in March. They’ve been without Manu Ginobili for most of the season and have gotten some inconsistent play from their role players, but the Spurs are coming. They’re like a racehorse waiting for the chance to get to the inside and make a move.

Jared Wade, Eight Points, Nine Seconds: The Spurs had the best record in the West last season and have managed to tread water despite losing Ginobili. That may be a blessing in disguise, however, as it is forcing the inexperienced players on the roster (Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal) into larger roles. The big three can’t do it on their own anymore, so coach Gregg Popovich will need these guys come playoff time. And without any truly scary teams across the Mississippi aside from the Thunder, it would shock nobody if the Spurs crawled their way back to the conference finals.

Kevin Arnovitz, If the playoffs were to start today, the Spurs would be facing a tee time. They are ranked 23rd defensively, have been without Manu Ginobili since Jan. 2 and still have their rodeo trip in front of them. But if they can tread water on the road until Manu gets back, the Spurs should experience a bounce. They’ve rationed starter minutes and have been developing their supporting cast. Does anyone really believe there are eight better teams in the West?

Beckley Mason, HoopSpeak: The San Antonio Spurs have played one of the toughest schedules in the league and sustained an injury to their best player. Assuming all those teams in the Southwest Division don’t beat each other up too much, the Spurs should be primed for a strong end of the season when Manu returns to one of the deepest San Antonio teams in recent memory.

As it is, the Spurs may not be favorites to even win the West this year, but if all things falls into place, and given the San Antonio’s experience and smarts, not too many teams would want to face them in the post season.

6 thoughts on “Don’t sleep on the Spurs

  1. As a Spurs fan, I’m not getting my hopes too high until I see what happens in the rodeo road trip. I think there are more sleeper teams in the East, Indiana and Philadelphia are really doing great.

    But if the Spurs can get consistent production from Duncan, Parker and Jefferson and the bench continues to provide some boost then, the Spurs will be really hard to beat when Manu comes back.

  2. No matter what happens, I love the Spurs and if this ESPN guys believe the Spurs have a chance, I’m all for it, it’s been a while since I saw them deep into the playoffs hopefully this is the year. Go Spurs Go!

  3. It’s just like the media and sports writers trying for years to guess what Pop is thinking, or doing with the team. When asked questions he just laughs or says something sarcastic. Good luck trying to figure him out but then again they have been trying that for years now. Hook line and sinker on this one. Pop just keeps on winning with whoever we have on the court. If this does’nt make sense neither do the writers above. Vote Pop for president.

    • Pop is a great coach no doubt, but he has been blessed with humble, talented and coachable players like Duncan, Ginobili and Parker.

      Talent is not enough to make a team win that is why I admire coach Pop’s ability to motivate these players to play hard and play the right way.

      So far, I’m happy (but not contented) with what the Spurs have accomplished because like Troy28, I want to see first how will they respond to the coming 9-game rodeo trip.

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